Hands On: Fractal Design Node 304 Case


There are so many methods to stream multimedia, it is hard to keep track of them all.  From the sending end, we have

  • Windows servers, whether that be SBS, Essentials, or WHS
  • A Windows client, such as Windows 7 or 8
  • NAS boxes, just about any shape or size
  • Apple Mac OS X Server
  • and anything else I may have missed

On the receiving end, we have

  • HTPCs
  • Boxee
  • Roku
  • Smart TVs
  • WD TV Live
  • Netgear Media players
  • and a great deal more!

The choices are almost overwhelming, but for me, the choices center around a Windows Home Server from the receiving end to an HTPC on the receiving end.  I actually have a few other options, but I know how to tweak a Windows PC to my needs, so I am most comfortable with that combination.

For my Windows computers, I typically build my own, which requires me to purchase a case specific to the type of computer I am building.  For an HTPC, I look for a small case that fits inside my media center cabinet.

All that brings me to the Fractal Design Node 304,


which is small enough to fit in my cabinet, quite attractive in a very clean way, absolutely silent, and will accept my mini ITX motherboard.

Or so I hope!

So, is the Node 304 the ideal HTPC case?  Or perhaps it might just be that Small Form Factor WHS chassis with plenty of growth potential.

Let’s find out!



  1. I just bought the Fractal Design Node 304 Case today for my new WHS2011 machine. Will let you know how it goes.

  2. just a little bit bigger and you could get a Matx mobo in there .. real flexibility in that case. I might go for minit-itx instaed of m-atx next go round… we’ll see.

    You should test with prime95 AND furmark to really show up any heat issues. or handbrake with quality settings on ultra high.

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